Healthcare Ethics and End-of-life Care


School Hosts Prestigious International Nursing Ethics Conference and International Human Rights and Nursing Awards Ceremony

School of Nursing and Midwifery, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex September 1-2, 2018

The School of Nursing and Midwifery, UCC, in collaboration with the International Care Ethics Observatory, University of Surrey, organised and hosted the 19th International Nursing Ethics Conference and 4th International Ethics in Care Conference on September 1-2, 2018.

Bioethicists and nursing ethicists of international renown addressed 130+ delegates from 20 countries including Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Finland, Germany, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tasmania, United States. Keynote speakers included Prof. Hilde Lindemann, (US), Professor Marsha Fowler (US), Prof. Ann Gallagher (UK) and Prof. Anne Scott (IE). They addressed topics including narrative ethics, nursing values and professional education and the role of nurses in clinical ethics committees and healthcare organisations. Parallel sessions considered a range of issues e.g. Ethics in End-of-Life Care; Feminist Ethics; Ethics and Dementia Care; Older Adult Ethics; Global Justice; Ethics and Children; Matters of Conscience

The International Human Rights and Nursing Awards Ceremony held on Saturday, 1 September, also honoured two nurses from Ireland and Switzerland, Alice Leahy and Miriam Kasztura, in recognition of their outstanding commitment to human rights and their contribution to nursing professional practice.

Aims & Objectives


To develop excellence in research related to the ethical challenges that arise in clinical practice, especially, in relation to the treatment and care of dying patients and their families. Our interests include: ethical decision-making frameworks; end-of-life care and its impact on vulnerable individuals; nursing and midwifery ethics; feminist ethics; moral distress of health professionals.


Specific Objectives:

  1. To develop knowledge, educational and organisational interventions that support ethically and legally sound nursing and midwifery practices in hospital and community healthcare settings.
  2. To undertake research in end-of-life treatment and care that contributes to the improvement of patients’, families’ and health workers’ experiences of death and dying.
  3. To conduct research on the role of health professionals and carers in supporting vulnerable people e.g. with an intellectual disability and/or dementia at end of life
  4. To support the expansion and translation of research on end-of-life decision making and advance care planning to enable healthcare staff and family to deliver care consistent with the values and preferences of the patients towards and at end of life
  5. To collaborate locally, nationally and internationally in order to share knowledge, build interdisciplinary and global networks and advance the field of healthcare ethics and end-of-life care.


  • Improving advance care planning for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: The CONCORDAT (inCOrporatiNg ACP intO Routine COPD mAnagemenT) research group.  Further Details: Improving ACP for people with COPD


Healthcare Ethics and End-of-Life Care (previous projects)


Dr. Joan McCarthy

Areas of interest: nursing/midwifery/healthcare ethics; ethical issues at beginning and end-of-life; moral distress of health professionals; feminist ethics.


Dr. Nicola Cornally

Areas of interest:  Dementia Palliative Care, Contemporary issues in End-of-Life Care, Pain Assessment and Management in Older Persons and Professional Development in Gerontological Nursing.


Ms Caroline Dalton

Areas of  interest: Palliative care, communication, quality of life, physical health needs and the impact these topics have on the lives of those with an intellectual disability.

PhD title:  An Exploration of End-of-Life Care Provision and Decision-Making Practices with Adults with an Intellectual Disability.


Ms Una Cronin

Una Cronin is a registered nurse who has worked in care of older people services for over twenty years. Post-graduate qualifications include Pg. Dip. in Gerontological Nursing, MSc Community Health, BCL and MSc in End of Life Healthcare Ethics. She is currently a PhD student and part time lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, UCC. Her research interest is end of life care for older people living in long term care, with a particular interest in the role of healthcare assistants in provision of end of life care in these facilities.

PhD title: The experience of Healthcare Assistants after the death of a resident in residential care settings for older people.

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Scoil an Altranais agus an Chnáimhseachais

Brookfield Health Sciences Complex College Road Cork, Ireland , T12 AK54